Here are some suggestions from the experts:
*If you haven’t been exercising, check in with the clinic to make sure your plan is safe and right for you.
*While 30 minutes a day is widely recommended for dedicated exercise, this can be broken into shorter times. In a study conducted at the University of Virginia, exercise physiologist Glenn Gaesser, PhD, asked men and women to complete 15 10-minute exercise routines a week. After just 21 days, the volunteers' aerobic fitness was equal to that of people 10 to 15 years younger. Their strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility were equal to those of people up to 20 years their junior. "It would be useful for people to get out of the all-or-nothing mind-set that unless they exercise for 30 minutes, they're wasting their time," says Gaesser.
*From a wise website called Zen Habits: when you make an exercise plan:
*write it down, and post it up.
*Set an easy goal – like 5 minutes of exercise a day.
*You can build a habit, and gradually increase it.
*Be specific about what you are going to do, and when.
*Have a trigger – such as breakfast – always exercise after breakfast – or any other daily event.
*Know exactly what your goal is – walk around one block, do 5 pushups from the sink, dance for 10 minutes to your favorite music. *Stick to your goal for a month, before changing it.
*Log your daily habit right after you do it.
*Report it to others in your friendship group or family, by phone, email or just plain talk. Arrange in advance that this person will expect a daily report from you. Reward yourself for your progress with something you love, like a great movie, or a dinner with friends (make it healthy!).
*Here are some ways to exercise that work for me: I ride my stationary bike while I watch television or a movie. I’m slow, but I can bike 6-8 miles without noticing it, and I feel great afterwards. I keep 4 pound weights by my bedside, and do arm exercises while listening to music. I dance to the California Cajun Orchestra – an easy Cajun line dance step I’m happy to teach anyone who give me a call (868-0493). I walk the shaded streets of Bolinas to clear my mind.
Sadja Greenwood: MD, MPH